iPhonAsia’s response to Barron’s article
Barron’s posted an article today speculating on the timing for iPhone’s official launch in China. Read more via Barron’s > Apple: When Will China Get The iPhone?
Here (below) is iPhonAsia’s comment to the article. Let’s see if we make it past their spam filter :)
FWIW, here’s my guesswork … The majority of obstacles that Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi mentions have already been resolved. He is right that China Unicom will be the initial carrier in China and they will likely get a “3G” exclusive for a year or two. That opens up the opportunity for a low cost unlocked 2G iPhone that would be available through both China Unicom and China Mobile.
I think analysts Shaw Wu and Mike Abramsky may be right in their prognostications that we will not see the rumored Nano iPhone in 2009. However, a low cost iPhone model may be introduced sometime in 2010 to address potential buyers in major pre-paid markets – China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Russia and Eastern Block countries. While this low cost iPhone has been dubbed a “Nano,” there are plenty of reasons why this phone might turn out to be a full screen model sans 3G and some high end features.
As far as the timing for an iPhone in China announcement … I’m sticking to my prior guess … either May 17 (World Telecom Day) or June 9 (WWDC Keynote) and a launch later in the summer but not before July 1st.
The wild card that could upset the timing of an iPhone launch is the outside chance for WiFi (802.11) on a special production run for China.* Apple would no doubt prefer WiFi over China’s homegrown WAPI (doubtful that Apple would build WAPI support into an iPhone for China) and there is still a chance for WiFi approval. Why? Read more here:
*iPhonAsia believes that the iPhone for China will be a special production run and may come preloaded with several “for China” apps such as mobile search through Baidu.com and an app to support either Tudou or Youku (China YouTube alternatives). We may hear more about these special partnerships with Apple on May 17 or June 9. Read more > HERE
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Comment to Barron’s article by Zee
As a side note: Apple has sought people with Hand Writing Recognition Software/Development expertise. With my Oxford Chinese/English Dictionary I’ve been exploring writing Chinese Characters with a squirrel brush and ink . What I’m getting at: Recently, I watched a Chinese friend Text Message using a Qwerty Mobile Keyboard… I feel the MultiTouch iPhone Screen, the sophisticated OSX’s UI and OS have not yet been explored as to the success the iPhone will have in China over any rival vendors if one is able to use one fingertip for gesturally drawing the Chinese characters. It would be quick to do and adopted rapidly because of the visual vocabulary and orientation Asiatic Character Languages use. Mind you I am speculating. And the iPhone’s superior user experience of just picking it up and away you go, logical intuitiveness, strongly implies once the iPhone is attached to a carrier, it’s adoption in China could boggle the mind. Perhaps any length of time leading up to this deal being cemented, may only mean the Chinese will really get something to own and behold. Because the Chinese own very few personal computers, and the iPhone makes the most sense as a substitute for an affordable, and coveted mobile computing device that will be full featured upon it’s arrival in it’s next manifestation. Perhaps like Google, Apple will have to cede certain controls to the Chinese. Maybe it’s not so much about revenue but more in line with enabling the Chinese to feel they are able to censor or control contra-content. Finally someone mentioned reverse engineering. Well by 2012 China will lead the world in registering Intellectual Property Patents. If China does not want to honor IP Laws then they will find in the future the rest of the world taking their attitude down the road when they’ll have the most to lose. Good business is a two way street.